Religion

Spending time with God

Today, I’m spending time with God.  My wife went out of town with one of my daughters and except for a few honey-do’s, I’m making time for the most important relationship of my life.  Today, as I take time to worship the Lord and pray; I find myself hearing some WISDOM FROM ABOVE that I need to share with whosoever will listen.

A moment with God, can make an eternity of difference. When we begin to praise God, God’s presence becomes very evident. God loves the praises of his people.  Psalm 113:3 declares, “From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  Begin your day with praise.  Give your day to God and say, “Lord what do you want me to do?” After asking this divine question, take time in silence to listen to a still small voice giving you instructions for your day. 

Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Choose today to walk in truth. God’s Word is truth. Choose you this day to walk in the light. Jesus declares, “I am the Light of the world.”

Spend time with God today, and he will make a difference in your tomorrow, future endeavors, and eternal treasures.  In other words, God will open doors for you that you could never open. He will give you light for your darkness; He will give you faith for your doubt; He will give you strength for your weakness; He will give you fullness for your emptiness.  If you can see a difference in me, it’s Jesus!

I hear the Lord whispering in my spirit, “I’m giving you wisdom from above to share to the people.”  God is moving vastly around the world. Thousands of people are being saved; people around the world are being healed of sickness and disease. A revival of righteousness is breaking forth that will bring about much fruit. The harvest is plentiful, yet the laborers are few.

In closing this message, “Spending Time with God,” I’d like to share a few more nuggets of wisdom.

1. Begin your day with prayer…Spend time with God.

2. Speak and believe truth…God’s Word is truth.

3. Never fear, for God has not given you fear. God is all powerful and chooses to give you a spirit of love.

4. Praise God in advance for your victory.  Remember, God has never lost a battle.

5. After your victory, it’s important to share your testimony. Let God do something for you and then go tell someone about your glorious experience.  Remember, your victory began with SPENDING TIME WITH GOD.

Tommy Meekins

Do you have an impenitent heart?

The apostle Paul wrote unto the saints in Rome: “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’” (Romans 2:4-6).

Paul describes those who will face God’s wrath in the day of judgment as having “hardness” and an “impenitent heart.” The New Testament Greek word for impenitent means “admitting of no change of mind, unrepentant, impenitent” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). In other words, for such individuals there was no desire to change their minds to the amending of it for the better. Their mind was made up, stubborn to the point that it would not change for the better. 

Sadly this world is filled with men and women who possess an impenitent heart. Although God is perfectly good and longsuffering, they refuse to repent and prepare their lives and eternal soul for the day of judgment. Of course, repentance demands change in a person’s life. And many folks simply do not what to change how they are living. But true repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of conduct in one’s life (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 26:20; 2 Pet. 3:9). 

Jesus warned that if men refuse to repent of their sins, they would perish (Luke 13:3, 5). Peter preached that men must repent and be converted for their sins to be blotted out (Acts 3:19). In Athens, Paul declared: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). 

If there wasn’t a day of judgment, then men would not need to concern themselves with getting their lives right with God. But there is an appointed day of judgment, and therefore it matters a great deal how we live our lives before Almighty God upon this earth. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

So, do you have an impenitent heart? If you are guilty of the sin of fornication, adultery, drunkenness, lying, stealing, covetousness, jealousy, hatred, murder, anger, blasphemy, filthy language, unbelief — and refuse to repent, then yes, you possess an impenitent heart. 

Thankfully for all of us, the Lord “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So instead of having an impenitent heart, let us possess a tender heart that is cut by the powerful word of God (Heb. 4:12; Acts 2:37), and ask, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) The answer is: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), repent (Acts 2:38), confess the Lord Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10), and be baptized to have your sins forgiven and washed away (Acts 22:16). Please visit us at www.biblework.com. 

Jesse Flowers

Faith News: March of Remembrance

This Sunday, April 15, Rice University will be the host site for the beginning of this year’s March of Remembrance. The March of Remembrance is a memorial walk taken annually since 2007 on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) to “remember, reconcile and take a stand.”

We choose that day as a clear sign against antisemitism and because it is a powerful symbol of what happens when good people remain silent in the face of indifference and prejudice. The March of Remembrance is an American response to the March of Life (Europe) initiated by repentant descendants of high-ranking Nazi officers from Tübingen, Germany.

In 2013, Faith Presbyterian was the first church in the Baytown area to host a March. Last year we joined with the Houston area March as we will this year. The Houston March is scheduled begin at the Rice Memorial Center which is located on the corner of Alumni and Laboratory across from the Central Campus Garage on the Rice University campus (6100 Main St., Houston).

Following a special performance at noon by Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre in the Grand Hall, participants are invited to attend a memorial service at 1pm in the Chapel followed by a solemn prayer walk at 2:15 p.m. to Congregation Emanu El, site of this year’s Citywide Yom HaShoah Commemoration sponsored by the Holocaust Museum Houston.  All events are free and open to the general public.

Keynote Speakers will be the Rev. Doug Stringer – Founder of Somebody Cares, Texas Holocaust & Genocide Commissioner Rabbi Brian Strauss – Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Consul General Gilad Katz – Consulate of Israel to the Southwest U.S., Consul General Thomas Meister – Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Paul & Dr. Victoria Sarvadi – The Nathaniel Foundation, Chief Art Acevedo – Houston Police Department, Steve Finkelman – Distinguished Community Leader & 2nd Generation Survivor Descendant, Ruth Steinfeld – Holocaust Survivor, Luisa Lupprich – German Christian & Repentant Nazi Descendant, Pastor Walter August – The Church at Bethel’s Family and Rabbi Dan Gordon – Temple Beth Torah.

*The March of Remembrance Houston is honored to conclude its annual memorial walks at the Citywide Yom HaShoah Commemoration as a sign to survivors and their families that the world will never again be silent in the face of persecution, prejudice, or indifference toward any people group.

Complimentary parking will be available for the first 200 vehicles at the Medical Clinic of Houston (1707 Sunset Boulevard) between 8 to 5 p.m. along with return bus transportation between the garage and Rice Memorial Center between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Additional parking is available on-campus in the Central Campus Garage (Credit Card or Cash) and North Lot (Credit Card Only).  Please note that strict no weapons policies are enforced at both Rice University and Congregation Emanu El. For more information, visit www.marchofremembrancehouston.org 

Jim Gill

The search for validation

I detect in myself and in the words of others that a major human need is for a sense of validation. By that I mean a reason for being, existing as a sentient being. I think many, if not most, of us deal with a gnawing feeling of inadequacy, of not quite measuring up to the acceptable standard of worthiness. If we ask and attempt to answer the question of why am I here and am I fulfilling my mission, our internal response leaves us in serious doubt. Maybe I am projecting too much of my own misgivings on others, but I don’t think so.

Unfortunately for the general state of human affairs, we often seek for this validation by taking on the warrior role. We are culturally and religious attuned to the idea that “good” people fight and oppose and shun. Under this paradigm, anyone, who looks for life purpose in the pursuit of “righteousness” or just being right, naturally gravitates to conflict activities and behaviors.

 If and when I find meaning and purpose in being a fighter, I also must be keen to protect myself in the struggle, to remain a viable warrior. Thus a defensive strategy is a must. The most basic strategy of defense is to separate oneself from the enemy, shun them, confine them, and repel them. The natural result is a strict sense of tribalism. Seek to associate exclusively with like minded warriors.

 Finally, in case I find that the conflict is not going to my liking, I can embrace a persecution complex, wrapping myself in victimhood or martyrdom, as we witness with suicide bombers and others who engage in mass violence. The very fact that we loudly honor and revere those who die in combat greatly reinforces the idea that our greatest life accomplishment would be martyrdom. If that seems too extreme, the next best thing would be to view oneself as unjustly wronged and suffering for it.

 Now, on every front we have religious elements teaching that they can provide all the validation we need. However, within much of their theologies, we simply see more of what I have alluded to- validation by opposition, segregation, and persecution complexes, all fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. The human ego loves the forbidden Tree and rejects the Tree of Life/Love as the dangerous one.

 Jesus ate from the Tree of Life and taught men to do the same. Yet, we still look to the Tree of Knowledge for our reason for living. 

Please visit us at www.sjolanderroadfellowsip.com.

Rick Crotts

Don’s Daily Parable - Pick me! Pick me!

I can remember when I was in school when it would come time to play sports, I just wasn’t your guy. For one thing, I began to have problems with my leg when I was in the sixth grade. It began to hurt so bad that I could no longer run. 

I never was much of an athlete to start with. I just didn’t have the mechanics to throw or pitch. For that reason, when they would get ready to pick teams for baseball or whatever, the coach would tell the two teams to choose the players who they would like on their team. It goes without saying that I was always chosen last or one of a couple who was left. That works wonders for your self-confidence as some of you probably know, also.

Over 51 years ago, I was picked on a side. It wasn’t for a baseball team or volleyball. It was the team of the mighty Lord Jesus Christ. I couldn’t believe it! He actually chose me! Out of millions and millions of people, He chose me. Back in 1967, I was sitting in one of the pews near the front at Cedar Bayou Baptist Church. 

I hadn’t been married very long, and I was there with my wife, Pat. The pastor at that time, was Rev. E.R. Burns. He began telling me about a team that was looking for new members. It sounded like something I wanted to be a part of. At the time of invitation, I went down and talked with Bro. Burns, and asked him if I could be on that team. He said that I sure could. 

He told me that the Lord had accepted me and that I was chosen or picked to be on His team. Wow! In fact, He chose me before the foundation of the world, the Bible says. He chose me because He had a purpose for me, and again I want to emphasize how much I wanted to serve Him. He had a plan for my life long before I was even born. Isn’t that something?

When I heard about His team, I said, “Pick me! Pick me”! And He did! Praise His name! God bless you.

Don Cunningham

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